Find a Beach Made Exclusively for You – Part 2
The UAE is possibly one of the most sought after beach vacations in the winter months. With good reason. If you have already discovered some of the east coast’s beautiful hidden gems from our last list of recommendations, here are some more possibilities on the north-western coastline.
Ras Al Khaimah
Beach at the Cove Rotana
You can head to Hilton Resorts or the Cove Rotana for a truly luxurious beach experience. But along the way, if you’re into pristine sands fronting open beaches, you cannot go wrong with the coastline along Al Hamra Fort and the RAK Rotana.
If you’re equipped with a 4×4, follow the tracks between the dunes and you will think you’re in a hideaway in plain sight.
Drive: Head to RAK via the E11 roundabout and look for tracks in the dunes. Or follow directions to one of the RAK resorts. Google Maps link here.
Can: Enjoy the view, drive into the waters on the hidden beach. The resort beaches have plenty of activities for families.
Don’t: Take a dip or do anything that requires the use of changing and showering facilities at the open beach.
Selfie moments: Red sands, anyone? As you drive through the dunes, creating a shower of rust-colored sand, think of how lovely a screen saver it would make.
Abu Dhabi Islands
Drive to Abu Dhabi and find yourself a beach on an island – Lulu Island, Bahraini Island and Al Futaisi Island are all lovely drives to get to. Once there, hop into a boat charter to get you across.
Also called Maya Island, Bahraini Island is a 7km stretch of beach accessible via boat from Abu Dhabi. Once you drive there, charter boats will drop you off for the day. You can stay overnight too, since camping and barbecues are allowed. Some cruise companies offer day deals so you don’t have to carry lunch or your own chairs and umbrellas. Water sports are available and you can jet-ski too.
Al Futaisi Island is packaged like a resort, offering the use of a private beach and pool. You can spend the day playing beach volleyball, football, or hire a jet-ski. For non-beach activities, try horse rides or cycling trips around the island.
Can do: Camping, barbecue and water sports.
Don’t: Wear skimpy clothes.
Drive: Al Maya boat dock is close to Khalidiyaah Palace Rayhaan. Lulu is accessible from Abu Dhabi Corniche. For Al Futaisi, head to Al Bateen ferry port.
If you’re looking for an uninterrupted view of the horizon, it’s available about 20 minutes from Dubai towards Abu Dhabi to Ghantoot beach run by Golden Tulip Hotel. Beach access is yours for a small fee of AED100. You can lounge on the white sands and stare at the turquoise seas or get active and try the water sports club that offers water-skiing, boarding, and banana-boating.
Drive: Head out on Sheikh Zayed Road and, about 20 minutes past Dubai, turn in at Exit 399. Google Maps link to Golden Tulip Hotel here.
Can do: Barbecues, beach volleyball.
Don’t: Loud parties will draw frowns from Ghantoot fans.
Selfie moments: Start with the horizon, feet in the sand, or by your banana boat.
Blog photo: the talented Mikhail Punjani
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